It is the largest and the strongest bone of the face, holding the lower teeth. It forms the skull together with the cranium. There is a curved horizontal portion, the ‘body’, and two perpendicular portions, the ‘rami’. These portions unite with the ends of the body at right angles. The ossification of the mandible takes place at the fibrous membrane, which covers the outer surface of Meckel’s cartilages. At birth the bone consists of two parts, which is united by a fibrous membrane. In this symphisis, ossification takes place during the 1st year of life. In old age this bone becomes greatly reduced in size due to loss of teeth.

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